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Latin American Free Trade Area (Lafta)
Headquarters: Montevideo - Uruguay
The Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA) was a first step in the process of Latin American regional integration. This association was created in 1960 with the signature of the Treaty of Montevideo. LAFTA intended to establish a free trade among member states in the space of twelve years. The project was very much an idea of the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean of the United Nations, looking at industrialization and the needs of the opening markets in the region, as well the need to develop better mechanisms for the facilitation of trade and transfer of payments. LAFTA had some older origins in the Gran Colombia, a post colonial agreement involving Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador. The LAFTA project did not succeed and no longer exists. In 1980 it was replaced by a more flexible agreement, the Association for Latin American Integration (ALADI).